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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Our Conduct and Behaviour: the civil service code

All civil servants are expected to uphold the Civil Service values, the highest standards of propriety and behaviour in public life, and conduct themselves with integrity and honesty.

The fundamental principles, framework and values within which all civil servants must work are set out in the Civil Service Code. Your behaviour whilst at work, and to some extent, in private life, must comply with the Civil Service Code.  

Following the Civil Service Code and our rules of conduct will mean that everything you do is above suspicion and will ensure that customers and other people we deal with are in no doubt about the integrity and professionalism of people in HMRC.

The principles, values and behaviours in the Civil Service Code can be summarised as follows:

  • Everyone in HMRC should work with the Civil Service values of integrity, honesty, impartiality and objectivity when administering public services or formulating policies, and must not do anything to mislead Ministers, Parliament or the public.
  • Civil servants owe a duty of loyalty to the Government of the day, remaining politically impartial whilst complying with the law.
  • When dealing with the public or trade you should do so sympathetically, efficiently, without bias and be accountable for your actions.
  • You should make proper, effective and efficient use of public money.
  • You should not compromise yourself or the integrity of the Department by accepting gifts, misusing official information or using poor judgement to further your own interests.
  • You should abide by the restrictions on political activities appropriate to your position in the organisation.
  • Everyone in HMRC has the responsibility to report any instance where an individual is asked or required to act inconsistently with the Civil Service Code or legislation and to report any wrongdoing by anyone else

Online learning

An e-learning package (Conduct Awareness) is available from Kallidus under prospectus code 0011020. The e-learning is designed to raise awareness of non-compliance with the standards of the Civil Service Code and its discipline polices.

The e-learning covers:

  • the duties and responsibilities of all civil servants
  • rules and guidance within HMRC
  • behaviour both at work and outside work
  • the rules around confidentiality and data security

It is relevant for everyone, including managers.